While Ramadan sparks the whimsy of traditionalism in many across Cairo and Egypt – foul, falafel and other classic Egyptian basics suddenly become en vogue – there's nothing wrong with adding a touch of suaveness to proceedings, especially when it comes to the food.
Luckily, Cairo is full of suaveness – no, seriously – if mostly at its many top hotels. It's something that even we have come to appreciate more and more, with only a select few of said hotels receiving Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards in the World-Class Hospitality category.
We won't argue that Ramadan is a homely, unpretentious time, where we are all encouraged to exist under a cloak of modesty and reserve; but sometime, you just want to get dressed up and paint the town red – and you can do so in style.
Fairmont Nile City doesn't do anything by halves, especially when it comes to occasions. Following the success of its previous Ramadan shenanigans, this year, the Nile-side hotel is set to resurrect its rooftop Ramadan tent, Bab El Nil, while the hotel will be taking a trip down memory lane with 1001 Nights – a setup that harks back to the days of Shahrazad, Ali Baba, et al. Meanwhile, Napa Grill will be offering a lavish fetar buffet for 295LE++ per person, as well as a sohour buffet for 185LE.
For reservations and more information, call 02-2461-9494
A personal favourite for many of the Cairo 360 team, Conrad Cairo Hotel is diving headfirst into Ramadan with some very tempting, and very reasonably priced, fetar and sohour offers. Solana is set to welcome hungry fast-breakers with a an open buffet for 199LE++ per person, while Lebanese restaurant, Jayda, is offering its own buffets – both fetar (185LE++) and sohour (155LE++), with the addition of shisha service and an Oriental takht. Last but not least, the hotel is also offering special room rates starting at a mere 800LE – a package that also includes sohour and a 25% discount on parking.
For reservations and more information, call 02-2580-8000.
Where do we start with the Marriott's Ramadan specials? There's plenty of options at the Zamalek-located hotel, the most significant of which is the Som3a Basha tent, which seemingly has everything covered; sohour buffet with live stations serving up classic Egyptian street food (175LE++), live entertainment, shisha and much more. Elsewhere, Saraya Gallery and Ristorante Tuscany will offer family-style featr menus, while Omar's Café will host a fetar buffet of its own at 320LE++ for adults, 160LE++ for children.
Wait, there's more; the aptly named Egyptian Nights is getting in on the act with shisha service, feter menus and sohour, too.
For reservations and more information, call 02-2728-3000.
Four Seasons Nile Plaza in Garden City `Lebanese restaurant, Zitouni, is offering a fetar buffet for 365LE++ per person, serving up a quintessential Levantine Ramadan, while the hotel's newest venue, Upper Deck, promises to be a great spot for sohour and late nights. In addition, the hotel is also offering special Ramadan room rates starting at 1200LE
For reservations and more information, call 02-2791-7000.
Meanwhile, over the river at Cairo's other Four Seasons hotel, one of the most popular Ramadan tents returns. La Gourmandise typifies the more lavish Ramadan experience that has come to find popularity in Cairo. With excellent food, live entertainment and unique atmosphere, expect this to be one of the more frequented spots over the next month.
For reservations and more information, call 02-3567-1600.
With so many restaurants and cafes, you can always count on Fairmont Heliopolis to deliver the goods when it comes to the food department – which some may argue is a pretty important factor in Ramadan. My Kind of Place is offering a fetar buffet for 260LE++, but the pièce de résistance of the hotel's Ramadan celebrations is the ever popular Si Omar Tent – expect all manner of Ramadan revelry.
For reservations and more information, call 02-2267-7730/40
As one of the most unique hotels in Cairo, Dusit Thani LakeView holds a special Easter aura and this Ramadan, food is the master that rules all. Italian restaurant, Branzino, is hosting fetar and a sohour buffet to the backdrops of live oudists, while Garden Grill is doing likewise, but with set menu sohour and entertainment coming via an Oriental takht, a live singer and a DJ, to boot. Gourmet, meanwhile, is hosting a la carte fetar and sohour set menus – the latter of which is also on offer at Lobby Terrace.
For reservations and more information, call 02-2614-0000.
Happy Ramadan, one and all! Keep Cairo 360 close – we have plenty of festiveness in store.